Artist Interview with Luis Pinto


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Your work is bright and exploding with color and details! How did you arrive at this style and how would you describe it?

My style is related directly to my roots and cultural heritage, especially when I have creative freedom in the process of a piece. Personally, I don’t think that I have a style. I’m always looking to explore new graphics with each project that I do, and if it’s a piece for a client, I always consider their input and vision for what they have in mind.


You mentioned in your most recent Monster Project video message that your illustration was inspired by alebrijes (Mexican folk art sculptures of fantasy creatures). Tell us more about that inspiration and how your culture and heritage has influenced your work.

When I picked the drawing by my wonderful artist (Bryan) my mind instantly related this fantastic monster to the “alebrijes” which I love and try to include in every piece that I can because they’re so imaginative, detailed and colorful. Since I was very little I always loved the colors, patterns, food, characters, and stories of my Mexican culture (I still do and they still amaze me). I feel very proud and happy to be able to share my Latin-American heritage. It’s a way of showing in my work that we can always learn and be amazed at how many wonderful things are in this world, and if we’re open to share it, we can get to know each other a lot better.

Luis Pinto's Monster Project contribution, 2017

What was your relationship with art and illustration as a child?

Since I was a child I’ve always had a strong relationship with art and drawing. I was the school kid who always had more drawings in his notebook than notes from class. I’ve always thought that drawing what you have in your mind is pure magic and practicing it as a child is a wonderful experience. It opens a whole new world full of fantastic possibilities.     

What set you on the path of being an artist, and how has that journey been for you so far?

Well, since I always loved to draw from a young age, the logical thing for me was to pursue that interest. When I was in college, first I tried one year in architecture, and later I discovered Graphic Design, which I loved and gave me the tools to become an illustrator. The journey so far has been amazing. I would never have thought that I would be part of so many incredible projects with so many talented people from many parts of the world. I feel grateful for every adventure that I’ve been able to be part of and I’m ready for more (wink wink).


Can you give us some insight into how you go about designing a character? Perhaps using the example of one of your previous Monster Project contributions?

When I design a character I really think about making it distinctive, colorful, and creating a situation around it. To come up with a clear view of what I want, usually sketches are the best way of knowing how the character will look like, where it lives, what colors, textures would be more appropriate, etc. It’s always a fun experimental process.

With my previous Monster Project contributions, the fun thing is that you already have a wonderful piece (done by an imaginative kid) in front of you to play with. So the creative process is, most of the time, sketching and having fun as you start to see the magic coming out of the illustration, and, at the same time, trying to catch the spirit of the original masterpiece!

Luis Pinto's Monster Project contribution, 2016

If a spirit animal is the animal that you most identify with and have a kind of kinship with...what would your spirit monster be? Please describe it and explain.

If I could have a spirit monster, maybe it would be a Wolfman or El Chupacabras! I love monsters that are a mixture of many animals or the ones who are shape-shifters. In Latin America there are folk stories of people who can transform into their spirit animal. That said, I really love anthropomorphic/chimeric beings.  

What does a typical work day look like for you?

Usually my work day starts with a waking up early and having a cup of coffee! Then most of the mornings I usually sketch personal ideas and client projects. In the afternoon I tend to work on projects, go to meetings, or having Skype calls with my clients.

If that’s not the case, I tend to go to cafés and have a nice time with my friends and fellow colleagues. Then, when I get home, I usually tend to organize what I’ll do next day, have cup of tea, and have a good night rest (lately I don’t like to stay awake too late unless it’s necessary).


Would you rather spend a day handcuffed to a monster that constantly sweats mayonnaise, or a monster that makes terrible jokes non-stop and threatens to eat you if you don’t laugh? Why?

Wooo that’s an awesome question! Considering the two options, I say that I would choose the monster that makes terrible jokes! Those inventions would give me great ideas if you think about it. At certain point this monster would make me laugh for sure.


Why do you participate in The Monster Project?

It’s such an honor be part of it! I participate in the Monster Project because I genuinely believe in the power of a kid’s mind, and if we as graphic artists can boost that interest in the arts for children, maybe we can create a much better, more colorful, more sensible world. The project is awesome and I can’t wait to see what new adventures lie ahead for it!

We asked the last Monster Project artists we interviewed to come up with their own interview questions. AJ Jefferies wants to know…if you could instantly become a master of ONE skill, what would it be?

I would choose to become the master of cooking. Food brings people together in a joyful and festive way. It would allow me to enjoy the world in a different way, full of colors, flavors and ingredients to choose from.